Have you ever wanted to coach a sport? Were you once an athlete who played a game, and then decided that coaching could be a vehicle through which you could touch and impact others? Have you been a fan who adores everything about a particular sport’s existence, and want to take your passion one step further and get involved in the action? Are you ready to move from the crowd to the bench, or from wearing a jersey to a whistle? Buckle up, because this post will help show you the way!
Before going any further, let me try and put to bed a common misconception that to be a sports coach you must have first played the sport previously. This is false, and is just a self-imposed limit that you have put on yourself. I don’t blame you for it – society reinforces this notion frequently! However, just because you have not formally done something yourself doesn’t mean you cannot discover the knowledge base, techniques and tactics needed to teach yourself (and others) how to do it!
Does personal experience help? Yes, it absolutely can! Having lived what you teach or coach can provide you with unique insight and credibility – a must-have characteristic of all leaders.
OK, this should be fun! This post is the first of an annual series that I will publish, usually around this time of the year. It will be pretty much what the title alludes to: my total expenditures from the previous calendar year, with comments on what I would like to reduce/change/improve going forward. But before I go any further, there is one big question that I’m sure a bunch of you out there are asking right now:
“Why on Earth is this guy doing this??”
The rationale behind this kind of post is pretty simple – it’s an accountability piece. It’s for me as much as it is for anyone else (although it may also be a decent demonstration of how to build simple budgets…for those who are in search of a way to do it!). It’s a demonstration of what a person who has early financial independence as a goal can do once their brain is wired to pursue its achievement. My approach and my openness isn’t anything new and it’s the modern father of frugality, Mr. Money Mustache, who has inspired me to be so forthcoming. I’ll give some secondary kudos to an up-and-coming millennial blogger, Gwen from Fiery Millennials, for her work on publishing monthly status reports as well. I admire her honesty and sense of humour when talk about this subject!
Note: the name of this report doesn’t have the word “income” in it. For the time being, I’m not yet comfortable publishing these kinds of numbers. That may change one day though…
My process isn’t perfect: although Mint.com allows me to track all of my electronic transactions, I’ve let $800 in undefined cash purchases slip through the cracks. It’s rare that I use cash, however, so the impact of omitting some of my purchases isn’t huge in the grand scheme of things. Still, it does prove that I have something to improve on as I track my spending! I typically use cash to pay for things such as the occasional dry cleaning bill, some haircuts, the odd drink, and the (very) odd cab ride, so those are the areas of spending (laundry, grooming, alcohol & transport) that would have reflected my use of cash.
Upon further review, I found one final loophole: I spent approximately $300 across a range of random purchases, including things such as a (now-cancelled) newspaper subscription, some kitchen items, as well as a few music downloads. I’m going to add this amount (and the $800 in cash spending) to my final 2016 expenditure total toward the end of the post.
As you can see, I have had my ups and downs as far as consistency goes with this information space. I really enjoy blogging, mainly because I really enjoy writing. Being a solid writer alone, though, is not enough to stand out in the blog universe – there are many great writers out there on the internet these days!
A great blog reaches people. It touches them in some way. It helps to solve their problems, or feed their curiosity to learn more about a given topic. Every so often, I produce something on this site that checks off one of these boxes, but I’ve never really found a consistent theme to touch on.
Over the last several months, I’ve dived head-first into the world of personal development. I’ve looked for answers to some of the big questions of my life, and have found a lot of “share-worthy” material out there. There isn’t a day that goes by where I do not commit myself to improving in at least one area of my life. Often times, these changes are small and hard to see at first, such as being more aware of my body language or my voice, improving my presence around others, or perfecting my morning routine. Sometimes I try to consciously rebuild a relationship that has withered, or has simply become a priority through deliberate appreciation of the bond that I share with that person. These kinds of thoughts and actions have dominated my head as of late, as I work to maximize all of my best individual characteristics.
This blog should be of some sort of help to others. It should give them something to learn from, relate to, laugh at, reflect on, etc. It should continue to be a reflection of my own life, so that it remains authentic and honest. Here is some of what’s in store for this blog going forward:
Consolidation of topics
From here on in, A Little Bird Told Me…will focus on only a handful of core subjects. These will include coaching insights and experiential learning for personal growth, personal finance as told by my own individual quest for early financial independence, as well as the odd thought and musing type of post that will usually end up as some kind of commentary based on current events. All of these posts will aim to add value to the readershipof the blog – this space will remain fluff-free!
Regular, reliable, once per week posts
This has always been a difficult thing for me. I have come and gone as a writer, hitting the odd hot streak in the midst of (often very regular) cold ones. This is likely due to a lack of planning on my part. By putting more time and energy into planning, researching, and developing different post topics, I believe that a more regular writing schedule can be maintained.